Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.78
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Tech
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jack Finney
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Office of the Executive Vice President & Provost
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program that offers incentives for academic staff in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses? :

A brief description of the incentive program(s):

Destination Area in Global Systems Science: Destination areas are targeted areas of strength for Virginia Tech and are a major part of the implementation of our Beyond Boundaries strategic plan. Global Systems Science (GSS) focuses on water, food, rural communities, energy and other related sustainability topics. Faculty members across several colleges have been engaged in developing the focus areas for GSS and have the opportunity to participate in research and curricular development teams. The intention is to develop new majors, minors, and specializations that provide our students with research and educational opportunities in these areas of inquiry. Courses have been developed and are being taught regularly.

A brief description of the incentives that academic staff who participate in the program(s) receive:

Faculty members are eligible for course buy-out funds (up to 12.5% of salary per course) to provide them with release time to work collaboratively to develop new courses and curricula associated with Global Systems Science.

The following is a list of some of the courses and curricula developed:
The Global Change Center (GCC) has several programs that incentivize sustainability content in graduate and undergraduate education including travel, course work, internships, visiting speakers, and research. educational offerings. It also sponsors seminars and capstone courses where faculty and students can discuss topics related to sustainability science.
Contact Center Director Dr. Bill Hopkins, hopkinsw@vt.edu.

The Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS) offers salary stipends and professional development opportunities to faculty who lead study aboard courses in “global sustainability” to countries such as Morocco, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Croatia, and China. CLiGS also has been revising all of its curriculum to better integrate key sustainability learning outcomes throughout its executive and online course offerings.
Contact Center Director Dr. Michael Mortimer, mmortime@vt.edu.

The Sustainability Institute: The College of Natural Resources and Environment hired a full time administrator of its Sustainability Institute, which incentivizes undergraduates to participate in a free non-credit, extracurricular “sustainability boot camp.” Students participate not just to learn about sustainability, but to for professional job skills and career training.
Contact Dean of the College on Natural Resources and Environment Dr. Paul Winistorfer, pstorfer@vt.edu.

Undergraduate Sustainability Minor: The “Pathway to Sustainability” minor provides students on vehicle to meet Virginia Tech’s general education curriculum requirements. Students select 6 classes from a structured program that includes faculty from various academic disciplines. The university supports this effort with annual funding for course development and delivery as well as faculty professional development.
Contact Program Director Tim Baird, tbaird@vt.edu.
Green Engineering Minor: The Green Engineering Program at Virginia Tech serves as the focal point of the College of Engineering for students considering the environmental impacts of the design, manufacture, and use of engineered products, processes, and systems across all engineering disciplines.
Contact Program Director Dr. Sean McGinnis smcginn@vt.edu.

Undergraduate Study Abroad: Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs organizes the “The Deans' Semester on Global Challenges” that focuses on food, water, energy, and related global sustainability challenges. The university is incenting faculty participating with funding for salary and professional development and is offering partial scholarships to undergraduates to participate in the semester-long program that will visit Croatia, Switzerland, and Senegal.
Contact Vice President for Outreach and International Affairs, Dr. Guru Ghosh, gghosh@vt.edu.

Website URL where information about the incentives for developing sustainability course content is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Additional information on the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability can be found at their website: http://cligs.vt.edu/

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